Disablers to Academic Success of Learners with Special Education in Selected Higher Education Institutions in Zambia
Keywords: Inclusive Education, Learners with Special Education Needs, University of Zambia
AbstractThe international community is agreed that the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goal particularly number four on education is dependent on how effective inclusive education is implemented by various countries. Whereas the implementation of inclusive education is well articulated at primary and secondary school levels, the same cannot be said at Higher Education level. Thus, in this article, we explore the status of inclusive education with reference to learners with special education needs at higher education level in Zambia. The article uses a Phenomenological approach to illustrate the lived experiences of learners with special education at the University of Zambia and Mulungushi University in Zambia. Key among the study objectives include exploration of the disablers experienced by learners with special education. The study findings point to a mismatch between policy and practice, negative attitudes, inaccessible learning environment and learning content among others cited as the major disablers to the success of learners with special education needs. This state of affairs could be attributed to system failure to domesticate inclusive education and develop responsive policies in Higher Education institutions. As such, inclusive education has remained a theoretical concept, well understood by the elites but poorly implemented on the ground. This then calls for Higher Education institutional system-wide transformation in favour of inclusive education.
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